Body (dis)satisfaction and health screening behaviors: a systematic review of observational studies

Pei Hwa Goh, Hoi Yan Loh, Ker Rou Chung, Amutha Ramadas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Engagement in health-promoting behaviors has been argued to be dependent on psychological factors in addition to simply having knowledge or access to resources. We systematically reviewed the evidence for the association between body (dis)satisfaction and health screening behaviors using six electronic databases and supplementary manual searches in the current study. To be included in the review, studies had to be empirical, in any language, and examined the potential link between body (dis)satisfaction and health screening. Findings from the final 16 quantitative and 12 qualitative studies generally suggest that people who were more satisfied or less dissatisfied with their bodies were more likely to engage in health screening. This review also highlighted key gaps in the literature such as the limited studies that included men as participants and the lack of examination of the underlying mechanisms and contingencies of the relationship between body (dis)satisfaction and health screening behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-155
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • body dissatisfaction
  • body image
  • body satisfaction
  • health screening
  • medical screening

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